Sometimes think I’m always
a life too late
to catch up to my own
walking away weary of waiting for me.
Or I’m a star too far ahead of my own shining
and that’s why it’s always dark.
I know the agony
in the stones of an abandoned bridge
that shoulders the world for nothing,
upholds nothing but its own mass
and waits for things to pass.
And even when I fall into the river
to flow along with my own mindstream
without consulting the leaves like maps
I still can’t get the moon off my back.
Look at all these orchards
littered along my banks
from the tent of a single blossom.
And there are nights
when I can smell snake on the wind
as if everything were about to happen again
and I still haven’t milked the fangs of the moon
for an antidote to the pain
or put out the third eye
of the irrational surveillance camera
that oversees the sorrows of the insane
when it’s full.
I like my perfections whole enough
to include what is not
and if I am immoderately empty
it’s so I can make space for the world
like the blood-sea of the rose
that flows out of nothing
into tides that shed their waves
like the eyelids, brides and petals
of a human heart.
My breath is silver.
My breath is gold
I’ve mined from the mystic mountain
that got in my way
whenever I tried to cross
the valley threshold.
I had to evaporate to rise to the top;
I had to get myself together like a cloud
to transform my own delusions
into a glimpse of the other side
that didn’t take a scapegoat for a guide.
Now space is my only familiar
and the being behind the face
of who I was a moment ago
is just another snake in the furnace
of this star that sheds my skin like fire.
Streams of insight
that are not predicated like mirages
on deserts of thought
trying to spin themselves
into mirrors and silks of glass
like a new religion
sweeping the world like sand
advance the gardens
of the water-givers underground
who teach the flowers how to bloom
and drown like stars
in the infinite opening of their eyes.
And I’ve mauled the nets of the constellations
like a man in the morning
walking through a high field
radiant with spiderwebs
and if there’s anything
left hanging in the wardrobe
that used to house my masks and cloaks
they’re veils I’ve torn from the light
to better see into my darkness.
I’m still looking
but nothing has appeared yet
and no sleight of mind
that’s ever mastered me
has ever taught me how
to realize the inconceivable
except in the proportions of a human
whose mere existence is utterly unbelievable
whenever I turn the light around
and discover the dispersing stars
I have followed so long and far
into the unborn darkness where I begin